Dr. Charles Freeman
Senior Pastor - 1987 to October 12, 2021 when he passed on to Heaven
Bro. Charles and Paula
What does your job involve?
My job involves the process of casting God's vision for Hillwood and through preaching and teaching God's Word seeking to help others catch the vision as well.
Where were you raised?
How large is the family you grew up in?
I had one older brother.
When and how did you come to know Christ?
I was nine years old when I accepted Christ as my savior. My dad had recently come to know Christ and that had a great impact on my life. My great uncle baptized me at my home church in Bessemer.
What was your first job?
My first job was working at my neighborhood grocery store. I worked there mostly on the weekends
during the school year and put in more hours during the summer months. I also worked there all the way through college as I commuted my last three years.
Where did you go to college?
University of Montevallo, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Andersonville Baptist Seminary.
When and to whom did you marry?
Paula Kay Larkin in 1973. Paula and I met at the University of Montevallo in 1971 and were married in 1973 in Birmingham, Alabama.
How many children do you have?
Two, a daughter and a son, a wonderful daughter in law and son in law and four precious grandchildren.
How did you get into the ministry?
I went on a youth retreat with my home church after my freshman year in college. It was while on that retereat in Gulf Shores, Alabama that God called me into the ministry one night during a quiet time on the beach. I knew that night what God had planned for my life.
Where else have you served before coming to Hillwood?
I had the privilege of serving the Shady Grove Baptist Church in Bessemer from 1971-1973 as Minister of Music/Students. Upon getting married and moving to seminary I was privileged to serve the Ruth Baptist Church in Ruth, Mississippi as pastor during my days at seminary. After leaving Ruth we moved to the Mount Hebron West Baptist Church in Elmore, Alabama where I served as Associate Pastor in charge of Education and Youth. We next moved to the Camellia Baptist Church in Prattville, Alabama as pastor, the First Baptist Church of Atmore, Alabama as pastor and then to Hillwood Baptist Church where I have served as the senior pastor since 1987.
What do you like most about your job?
I love to see lives changed through the power of God's Word. I also enjoy teaching Sunday School each week. The interaction with God's people is always a blessing and the opportunity to minister during both the good times and the more difficult times is very rewarding.
What do you like to do with your free time?
I have played ball all my life, but all of that changed in June of 2007 as I passed out on the softball field during a game. This was caused by a rapid heartbeat that required me to have a defibrillator implanted in my chest. My softball days are over, but I still enjoy being able to play golf and I am an avid Alabama football fan. Now that we have four grandchildren, as they grow older, I look forward to being involved in their lives.